Patriots Draft Pick Review: Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard was a huge addition late in the 2012 NFL Draft. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa

With the 224th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected cornerback Alfonzo Dennard out of Nebraska—and let me tell you one thing: This pick was an absolute steal.

Dennard might have came with some character issues, as he was arrested in late April was he allegedly punched a police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska—but prior to his arrest, I had Dennard going in either the late first round or in the second or third rounds.

This selection was a great value pick for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Dennard made his professional debut on October 7 during Week 5 against the Denver Broncos and record one tackle as well as recording one pass deflections.

As the season grew older, Dennard’s role with the Patriots increased as he saw more playing time opposite of cornerback Aqib Talib.

There is no doubt in my mind that Dennard has the talent to be a legitimate starting cornerback at the NFL level but he also has the potential to be one of New England’s more reliable defensive backs for many years to come.

Dennard without a question impressed me in 2012, as he ended up being one player that I always had my eye on. Dennard appears to have a high football IQ as well as being an athlete that can make plays on balls in the air.

Heading into 2013, Dennard should have a huge impact on New England’s defense.

2012 Stats: 10 games played, 35 total tackles, three interceptions for 95 yards and one touchdown, one forced fumble and seven pass deflections. 

Letter Grade: B+

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8 Responses to “Patriots Draft Pick Review: Alfonzo Dennard”

  1. Alex says:

    How is this not an A?

    Plenty of late round picks get cut, especially on a contender like the Pats. Picking up a quality starting #2 CB in the 7th, how is that anything other than a perfect grade?

    What would you give Tom Brady’s draft pick, A-? “Great player, had some success with the team, but would have been better value in the 7th round”

  2. kevin says:

    Dennard came in a seventh round pick because of the off grips issue of him getting arrested a week before the combine they were saying he could be a 2nd round talent coming out of Nebraska better then amukamara the year before. So I think b+ is fair I expect great things from him

    • munchkin says:

      I also saw where some draft pundits thought Dennard was better than Amukamara the year he came out. Though I believe Dennard struggled a bit his Senior season and at the Senior Bowl perhaps casting him in a lower light than Amukamara came into the NFL with.

  3. Billy C. says:

    I’d give Dennard the “A” over McCourty. I expect more from first rounders and McCourty has been mediocre at best at cornerback which neccesitated a move to a new position. Dennard, on the other hand was a seventh round flier and has shown tremendous upside for a late draft pick.

    • Russ N. says:

      I’d say McCourty was very good at cornerback this year. When throwing at McCourty as a corner this year, opposing QBs completed 45.9% of their throws for 2 TDs, 2 INTs, and a 65.6 passer rating. He was great at safety, but he certainly was not bad at all as a corner. He looked a lot worse at corner simply because the safeties behind him were miserable. If the Pats were to get a guy like Ed Reed to play over the top, McCourty would probably be just as good as a corner as he was his rookie season.

      • Karnak says:

        Spot on Russ. Don’t know why there is so little regard for McCourty. He has been a pretty solid player even though he was inconsistent last year. Which as you noted was not helped by the poor quality of the safeties behind him.

        • Billy C. says:

          Pretty solid player doesn’t translate into an “A” grade. An “A” grade is getting great value from a late pick or star play from an earlier pick. I’ll stand by my assertion that McCourty has been mediocre at corner and good at safety. definitely not an overall “A” draft pick.

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